Hurricane Hole Boat Registration Postponed Until June 28


June 20, 2008 — Although many boaters planned to head to Hurricane Hole on St. John Saturday to secure a safe haven for hurricane season, looming bad weather has forced V.I. National Park to postpone the date to June 28.
"We're expecting 30 knots of wind," said Rafe Boulon, the park's chief of Resource Management.
The stiff winds and accompanying heavy rains would make it unsafe for boats to travel to Hurricane Hole. Boulon said he wasn't expecting bad weather, but it suddenly blew up.
Squally weather should continue through Friday and into Saturday morning, according to meteorologist Robert Mitchell with the San Juan-based National Weather Service.
"You'll see gusts of 35 to 45 mph," he said.
The weather should begin clearing by midday Saturday, but residents should expect rain showers into Sunday.
At 12:20 p.m. Friday, Weather Station Zephyr at Ajax Peak, St. John, had a 43 mph gust of wind that blew leaves into houses and rattled porch furniture.
Rangers will be on duty at Hurricane Hole from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday to tell those who didn't get the word about the postponement to come back June 28, Boulon said. The postponement moves registration back to its originally scheduled date.
The park has 78 moorings on chains at Hurricane Hole. Boaters may also pick spots other than those on the chains.
When boaters get to pick their spots June 28, the procedure will start with a horn sounding or a flag blowing at 9 a.m. to signify it's time to begin the process, Boulon said.
The boaters will pick up the park's mooring buoy and mark the mooring with their own identifiable buoy. They will then take the park's buoy to a ranger stationed nearby in a boat. That ranger will log in the boat owner and the number on the park buoy.
Boaters will then email or fax Boulon their name, boat name and registration or documentation number, as well as the boat's length and draft. They also must send a contact number.
If a storm threatens, the park will notify boaters that Hurricane Hole is open 76 hours before the storm is due to arrive.
Email Boulonor fax him at 693-9500. For updates, call Boulon at 693-8950, ext. 224.
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